Local Bars Boycott 50 Cent's Vodka in Response to Video Mocking Autistic Man
Rapper 50 Cent is under fire for mocking a man on the autism spectrum in an Instagram video.
In the clip, the rapper, whose full name is Curtis Jackson III, suggests Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport employee Andrew Ferrell is high on drugs.
“Listen, the new generation is crazy,” the rapper says in the clip, which has since been removed. “Look at him. What kind of [expletive] you think he took before he got to work today? He high as [expletive] right here in the airport. His pupils dilated and everything…”
Ferrell, a 19-year-old who has Asperger’s syndrome, told Fox19 the experience was weird, calling the rapper “a jerk” and questioning his motives for doing it.
“To put this video out there saying my son is on drugs or whatever, that is part of his social anxiety,” Kent Ferrell told WLWT. “He’s not wanting to talk, he’s not wanting to communicate, he’s walking on and he’s doing his job.”
The community has begun to respond to the rapper’s behavior and lack of awareness, coming to Ferrell’s defense. Cincinnati bar Holy Grail Tavern & Grille announced it would boycott the rapper’s liquor brand Effen Vodka. Since then, at least five other businesses have joined the boycott, according to WLWT.
In response to 50 Cent berating a man w/ Autism, we will be boycotting @effenvodka and challenge others in Cincy to do the same !
— Holy Grail (@holygrailbanks) May 3, 2016
We’re on board. https://t.co/lK4iCYgUDR
— Delhi Liquor Store (@DelhiBeerChoice) May 3, 2016
Update May 3, 7:24 pm: Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson said the following to The Mighty in an email:
While the incident at the airport resulted from an unfortunate misunderstanding, I am truly sorry for offending the young man. It was certainly not my intent to insult him or the disability community, which is a source of great strength in America. I have apologized personally to him and his family.
Update May 5, 11:05 am: Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson said the following to The Mighty in an email:
“I want to turn this misunderstanding into an understanding. There are people that are ignored, mistreated and neglected with disabilities that need our support. Today, I have made a donation of $100,000 to this worthy cause through Autism Speaks. I am calling on my fellow musicians, actors, entertainers and all others who may not have fully considered this cause to join together to help in any way they can.”
If you are unfamiliar with autism, educate yourself and help spread awareness. Here’s a good place to start:
Image via Creative Commons/Live at J&R